The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 43 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our final granted patent report of the day we cover patents relating to three touchy inventions, one on security, another on the mysterious Macroscalar architecture and more. And for those who like to dig down into all of Apple's other granted patents of the day, we provide you with a full list the remaining patents.
Apple Granted Patent for Illuminated Touchpad
Apple has been granted a patent today for their invention relating to touch pads that provide visual feedback. More particularly, the present invention relates to illuminated touch pads that use light to provide feedback.
About Apple's Patent Figures: FIG. 1 noted above is a simplified block diagram of an input device such as a touchpad on a MacBook; FIG. 4 is a simplified diagram of an illuminated touch pad; FIGS. 20A and 20B illustrate illuminating the touch pad with a first color or intensity when the touch pad is in a first state, and illuminating the touch pad with a second color or intensity when the touch pad is in a second state.
Although touch pads work well today, improvements to their form feel and functionality are desired. By way of example, it may be desirable to provide visual stimuli at the touch pad so that a user can better operate the touch pad. For example, the visual stimuli may be used (among others) to alert a user when the touch pad is registering a touch, alert a user where the touch is occurring on the touch pad, provide feedback related to the touch event, indicate the state of the touch pad, and/or the like.
Apple's granted patent notes that the proposed illuminated touchpad includes an object sensing mechanism capable of sensing a user input over its input surface. The illuminated touchpad also includes a visual feedback system configured to illuminate the input surface in association with a user input.
One aspect of the invention relates to more than just in backlighting so that the user knows where the touch pad is located in low light conditions, but also to give other feedback related to how the touch pad is being used.
Apple notes that the invention may one day relate to any number of products such as the iPhone, iPad, computers (also think Apple's Magic Trackpad), the iPod touch and beyond.
Considering that Apple's invention for the illuminated touchpad dates back to 2005, the idea of illuminated trackpads may have passed its time or relevancy. While it may provide an aesthetic value to having the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad illuminated, there's little need for such a feature. Today's modern and enlarged touchpads make them difficult to miss, even in the dark.
Apple credits Stanley Ng and Duncan Kerr as the inventors of granted patent 8,537,132 which was last filed in Q2 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. References date back to 2005. To review today's 20 patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.
Apple Granted Patent for the Magic Trackpad
Talk of the devil. Considering that the "illuminated touchpad" may one day come to the Mac via the Magic Trackpad, it's interesting that Apple has been granted a patent today for the latter. Apple's Magic Trackpad was introduced on July 27, 2010. It's similar to the trackpad found on current MacBooks, albeit 80% larger.
Apple credits Erik Uttermann, Rico Zorkendorfer, Andrew Lauder and Sean Corbin as the inventors of granted patent 8,537,128 which was originally filed in Q2 2010 which works out to about a month prior to its debut. The patent was published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's 20 granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.
If you're not an owner of the Magic Trackpad or are new to the Mac in general, you could check out this demo video that will walk you through the device.
Apple Granted Patent for the Magic Mouse
Apple has been granted a patent today for their Magic Mouse or it's technically known as, the "Ambidextrous Mouse." Apple's Magic Mouse is multi-touch and is able to work with a limited number of gesture inputs. It first debuted on October 20, 2009.
Apple credits Steve Hotelling and Brian Huppi as the inventors of granted patent 8,537,115 which was originally filed in Q3 2010 or shortly after the Magic Trackpad was filed for as noted above. It published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review today's granted patent claims and details, see Apple's patent.
A Few Other Notable Granted Patents for 9.17.13
A few other notable granted patents today include: 1. A security patent: When unauthorized use of a device is suspected, a recharging mechanism (e.g., recharge-circuit) of the device is disabled in order to guard against extended unauthorized use of the device; 2. Apple's patent is about the concentricity of cameras' within apertures of a MacBook or iDevice such as the iPhone and beyond. 3. A Camera patent relating to a mechanical camera shutter mechanism. 4. Apple's backup feature called "Time Machine" is another winner today. 5. Lastly, there's one relating to a macroscalar architecture. Apple is certainly piling up patents for their macroscalar architecture. It'll be interesting to finally hear Apple explain this somewhat mysterious architecture to us sometime in the future, because it sure sounds radical.
The Remaining Patents granted to Apple Today
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.